Assessing the overlap between fishing activities and chondrichthyans distribution exposes high-risk areas for bycatch of threatened species - Ecosystèmes aquatiques et changements globaux Access content directly
Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2023

Assessing the overlap between fishing activities and chondrichthyans distribution exposes high-risk areas for bycatch of threatened species

Abstract

Sharks, rays, and chimaeras (chondrichthyans) play a crucial role in marine ecosystem functioning but are highly vulnerable to fishing. Hence, understanding the spatial overlap between chondrichthyans and fishing effort is essential for effective conservation and management. Here, we propose an integrated approach that combines Vessel Monitoring System data with geostatistical species distribution models to assess the potential impact of fishing on chondrichthyan populations in the western Adriatic Sea. By mapping the overlap between model-based chondrichthyan distribution, species richness, and the proportion of threatened species with bottom trawl fishing activities, we identify areas at high risk for chondrichthyan bycatch. Our findings show that many of these species are at risk across a large part of their distribution within the study area. Notably, there is a substantial spatial overlap between regions where threatened chondrichthyans are found and species-rich areas with locations of intensive bottom trawl fishing in the northern and central offshore regions of the western Adriatic, emphasizing the vulnerability of these species to fishing pressure. Furthermore, differences in overlap between distinct fishing gears highlight the importance of considering specific fishing practices when formulating management strategies. While our work provides novel insights to potential bycatch hotspots, limitations related to data sources, spatial resolution, and the inability to directly quantify fishing impacts should be considered. Nonetheless, our findings contribute to the development of targeted conservation and spatial management measures, offering a general approach to study model-based spatial hotspots aimed at protecting and sustaining chondrichthyan populations in the heavily exploited Adriatic Sea.
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hal-04267895 , version 1 (02-11-2023)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives

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Federico Maioli, Benjamin Weigel, Max Lindmark, Chiara Manfredi, Walter Zupa, et al.. Assessing the overlap between fishing activities and chondrichthyans distribution exposes high-risk areas for bycatch of threatened species. 2023. ⟨hal-04267895⟩
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